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REVIEW: SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption (Nintendo Switch) — A Bonafide Proof of Concept


Published by: Another Indie
Developed by: DARK STAR
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)
Genre(s): Action
Mode(s): Single-player
Game Type: , , , , , , , ,
60/ 100

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Unique Boss Encounters, Interesting Concept


Performance Issues (Nintendo Switch), Unpolished Gameplay, Underwhelming Narrative

Posted June 2, 2019 by

No doubt the Souls franchise has made a tremendous impact on modern gaming, inspiring countless studios to spawn their own brand of Souls-esque Action RPGs. There’s a sea of these games available now, most being largely derivative. SINNER: Sacrifice of Redemption seeks to rise above the rest of its ilk with a unique twist: What if you could skip the little guys and just go through a gauntlet of boss fights?



SINNER’s approach in the narrative doesn’t stray too far away from the Souls’ style of ambiguous storytelling. You are a ‘nameless wanderer’ seeking redemption by defeating a sequence of unique bosses, each representing a deadly sin.

These Deadly Sins are SINNER’s main attractions. A bit of lore plays out in the form of a brief cutscene before each boss encounter, informing of who they are and why they came to be. Each one feels unique in both appearance and in character background, isolated and without really being clear on the role you play in their story and what compels you to defeat them.

The ambiguous storytelling worked for Dark Souls because much information is scattered across the environments and items throughout the game for players to piece together. Given SINNERS focus on just Boss Fights, this kind of storytelling doesn’t exactly translate well.

I found it difficult to stay invested in the narrative, and if it were your primary reason to play, you would likely be disappointed.



SINNER draws from two standout concepts. Firstly, all staple components of the Souls formula have been stripped down to just a gauntlet of boss encounters. You won’t need to grind for levels, collect gear, or traverse through winding dungeons. You just had to overcome each individual boss. Emphasis on ‘overcome’, as each Boss takes heaps of mastery to best, requiring lots of precise timings and efficient use of your limited resources. Secondly, each Boss requires a form of sacrifice to earn the right to face them. Before each encounter, the player must ‘level down’, reducing certain attributes and/or resources such as stamina, health, and even the effectiveness of your equipment depending on who you’re facing. These two concepts are what defines it as something more than just a banal Souls clone, however, there are certain issues that bar it from being anything but.


Combat no doubt demands precision and strict timing. Taking mental notes of the bosses moves and reacting accordingly is paramount, however, there’s a genuine issue with the game’s damage feedback, that being the lack thereof. It is very difficult to notice when you’ve been hit or to tell how devastating an attack you’ve sustained can be. Similar to Dark Souls, the health bar is reduced when taking a hit, leaving behind a second usually lighter bar representing your health pre-hit to help you visualize the weight of a sustained attack. In SINNER, this is difficult to notice as the second bar looks too similar in color to your current health level, usually causing me to realize late that the wanderer needs healing.

To anyone who’s played a Souls game or any modern action RPG, the controls will feel very familiar. However, there’s a sort of clunkiness to it not unlike the game’s flawed hit feedback. Either way, this seems to be an issue in overall game polish more than anything. These really robbed me of any genuine sense of challenge, directly impacting my motivation to push through, considering the game also lacks a decent narrative to support it.



This area is where SINNER lacks in the most, especially on the Nintendo Switch. It’s hard to appreciate details beyond the bosses and the wanderer, but even they suffer from jagged lines and low-quality textures. The framerate regularly dips below even 30fps and the audio quality leaves a lot to be desired.

No doubt SINNER looks impressive on still images. Just wish I could say the same for when it runs in realtime on Nintendo Switch.


SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption demonstrates some genuine ideas that set itself apart from being a mere generic deviation from the Souls formula.  However, necessary improvements to narrative, gameplay polish and visual details bar itself from being anything more than a solid proof of concept. If you’re still willing to try SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption then good on you, but performance issues on the Nintendo Switch make it difficult to recommend the game on this platform. Perhaps get it on PC.

[This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher]

Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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